Chapter 126: Tunnel

Translator: Haruchin   Editor: Marky

The tunnel’s entrance had been fixed and the walls were reinforced with wood so they wouldn’t crumble.

「It’s mostly the earthworms, beetle larvae and rats that appear here. The big ones are the so-called horned monster type ‘Yrads’ — they look like a crossover between a cow and a deer. Be careful, those guys eat their surroundings away so the ground might be in a terrible state. And Jean, why are you carrying that stick? 」
Dinosso briefed us with the precautions we needed to take note of before we went in.

「I got it from the torch supplier guy. 」

The monsters here eat both dirt and stones, keeping the magic ores in their bellies. Our target is to get those ores. I first thought we’re going to dig and break up rocks but I was mistaken. Good thing I didn’t prepare a pickaxe.

「What are you gonna do with that stick you asked for? 」
「Gonna use it inside, obviously? I can tap the ground with this too. 」
It’s also useful when taking the lantern down.

Dean stared at me half-exasperatingly when I answered his question. He has seen me nonsensically swinging a branch around during our hunts, so he probably thought it’s going to be the same this time. Just you wait!

We lit the torches and went down the tunnel. It was a not-so-gentle slope at first. The interior was made out of warm gray rocks speckled with the color of rust from time to time. The further we went in the darker it was, and since the torch is our only light source, I can’t tell the color anymore.

Retze and Tina were the ones holding the torches. The three kids took turns whenever they got tired, and Retze took turns with me.

「It’s really humid in here. 」
「Mm, it’s different from outside. 」
Ash was looking around; I’m not sure if it’s also her first time in a tunnel.

「That’s because it rained, it’s pretty bad timing. There might be passages submerged in water too. 」

Whenever it rains, the water that seeped underground would pool inside the tunnels. Plus, underground and hot spring water would also get stuck in some places. Since water doesn’t recede easily, people usually use the slaves to bail it out.
The slaves sent to the mines were mostly criminals and were kind of throwaways, apparently, since minerals dissolved in water were often toxic and there were also times when poisonous gases were generated.

Carbon monoxide, in particular, is light, colorless, tasteless and odorless. Well, I guess no miner would be foolish enough to do anything that could start a fire, so I guess we’re fine?
Do they also bring little canaries to detect toxic gas in this world? Nah, humans are the direct guinea pigs, I guess. No more poor little birdies.

Dinosso and Butler were throwing stones over there. Do normal ores fall too? Can I just cheat and use 【Appraisal 】 to scan these ordinary looking stones?

After going down the slope, the tunnel floor was flat but wet and slippery, making walking a bit tricky. The dug out spots were rugged, but the well trodden paths had been smoothed out so it’s very slippery. They probably placed boards here in the past, since there are rotting broken pieces of wood scattered here and there.

「Whoa. 」
Something black ran past my feet.

「Oopsie. 」
Dinosso picked the small stone he threw earlier.


A nasty squeak echoed from the place where the torch’s light can’t reach. Eh, is that pebble a weapon against rats!? But it’s almost impossible to hit those guys!

Rats tend to come and attack in droves and gnaw on you if you’re injured or sleeping. On the other hand, they’re easily scared away if you encounter them. They’re pretty quick, so they seem pretty difficult to kill.

Tina shone the torch to the place where the squeak came from. A rat about 40cm long excluding the tail lay on the ground in a pool of blood.

Must be a hornless monster based on the tiny bump on its forehead.

「Seems like we got a bait. 」
「Shall we go rat hunting to lessen them? 」
Dinosso and Butler’s convo.

「Let’s check the horn and the innards first, at any rate. 」
Retze would start taking it apart, so I switched torch duty with him.

「Yeah, look carefully. This brother here is good, you know. 」
Dinosso told the kids.

Rather than tearing it apart, it’s more like he’s dissecting it? He removed the horn then he checked whether there’s a magic ore in the heart and in the gut. His movements were efficient as usual with no unnecessary moves, and he was neat.

The kids seemed really interested and they’re memorizing his moves properly, as expected of a farming family’s children who take care of their own cattle and chickens.

I also got used to it by now, but I’m still uncomfortable killing animals if they weren’t food sources like rabbits and deers or fantasy animals like the monster lizards.

We then went further in for a bit. The guys settled on the plan to lure the other rats with the dead rat as bait, apparently. The carcass was left aside. You could say we’re taking a break, too.

「Is that wind? 」
「If air enters then that must be from the shafts around the place. 」
「Oh. 」
Dinosso’s words made me feel a bit relieved.

I want to have a sip of warm tea, but we don’t have any firewood here. The adventurers who came here before us probably used most of the rotting boards; there’s only a few of them left.

And so, for today, the choices are low alcohol wine, or wine diluted with water.

「Here you go, some snacks. 」
It’s baked cheese cake.

「Yehey! 」

I wrapped the cream cheese and baked it. The snacks were square-shaped, and you can eat one in two bites.

「Oh deary, such deep flavor, is it cheese? 」
「So tasty. 」
Shiva and Dinosso were grinning.

「It’s nice that it melts in your mouth. I like the sourness of the cheese, too. 」
Retze liked it, apparently.

— It’s just so-so for Ash, I guess? She’s eating it happily, but not as happily as the cream puffs. Maybe she’ll like it better if I use sweet and sour strawberry sauce?

One Comment

  1. Happy New Year!
    Thanks for the treat.

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